Late in June, we finished the 35th year of delivering Child Assault Prevention (CAP) workshops in schools throughout Mercer County. Although the pandemic presented unique challenges as we took on the task of going all virtual, our prevention staff and students adapted quickly to this new normal.
Schools were eager to ensure that their students received the essential workshops. Administrators offered to put our information on their Google platform for the students to access, and they requested 'thinking/talking points' that they could offer students in advance.
"Despite the technical issues that arose, we were amazed with the resilience of the teachers and students to attend workshops and engage in discussions," said Prevention Director, Erika Hillman. In the Spring, we added an online version of our Elementary CAP workshop which was very well-received and offered a real morale boost. "Seeing the smiling faces all around on the monitors was revitalizing for everyone," added Erika.
During the workshops, we were able to support students who reached out to us about personal situations they needed assistance with; and students showed great creativity in getting messages to us on the virtual platforms. Google Classroom doesn't allow online chat, so one elementary student held up at sign that said, "I have something to tell you about this subject." She wanted to discuss inappropriate interaction with a stranger. We were able to connect her to resources right away to get the help she needed.
We kept the focus on our mission's work...and thanks to our dedicated team, we provided workshops for over 5,000 children and teens making it a very successful 2020-21 school year. Way to go, Prevention team...you deserve the summer off!